9 April 2019, Hargeisa. The House of Representatives of the Somaliland Parliament have held a first of a kind two-day event in Hargeisa, on the role parliaments have in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and in holding the government to account for their implementation.

The event was attended by parliamentarians and Somaliland Local Government Institute (LGI) representatives, as well as by the officials from the Somaliland Ministry of Planning.  It aimed to increase knowledge and coordination between parliament and government ministries on the 2030 agenda.

The meeting was supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under a project that works with the Somaliland government to build the capacity of the parliament to enact legislation, and to ensure effective and inclusive implementation of the SDGs. The project is part of a broader regional UNDP Arab States programme called ‘Parliaments for Agenda 2030’, which has been developed in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank. 

In his opening speech, Hon. Abdirahman Mohamed Jama, the Deputy Chair of the Social Affairs Committee of the Somaliland House of Representatives, highlighted the need for parliamentarians to deepen their awareness of the SDGs and to play an active role in achieving the 2030 Goals.  “It is important that we align to the Susatainable Development Goals when we are enacting laws that will have an impact on the lives of people,” he said.

In his remarks, Masoud Ali, UNDP Project Officer for the Parliament Support Project, said parliaments were key to making sure the Goals were achieved in each country by 2030. “Parliamentarians have legitimate power to ensure all government plans are in line with the global SDGs, and they have the right to question  government officials about progress made on SDG targets. They have a role to play in ensuring transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Goals,” he said.

The event will be followed by a self-assessment exercise on the capacity of the Somaliland parliament to achieve the Goals by 2030. It is aimed that the assessment exercise, together with the recommendations from the Hargeisa meeting, will then lead to the development of a draft Somaliland parliament strategy on the SDGs.

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